If you've ever wanted to see what #BlackBoyJoy looks like in the flesh, look no further than model and actor Broderick Hunter.
One scroll down his Twitter and Insta feed will not only have you craving chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it will leave you refreshed by his authenticity, humility, and humor. With a career that boasts walking runways and securing campaigns for some of fashion's biggest names, to starring in hit shows on television, Broderick is definitely one to watch for.
Back in Cali and fresh off a flight from New York, he is at ease and light-hearted in our meeting. It didn't take long for the conversation to smoothly transition from a formal interview to a talk between old friends. We converse and banter as if we've known each other for years and it's immediately clear to see why he's maintained longevity in his career and in the industry. Broderick is genuine and purposeful in everything he says and does. He doesn't hold back or spare the truth. He's true to himself, no matter what it looks like or how it may come off to others, something he says he's mastered seemingly since birth.
"I've always been a real organic type of person. I've never tried to put up facades. I don't like to tell people what they want to hear. I've always been a real person, that's just how I've been my entire life," he explained. "When my career started going and I got into modeling, it just kind of translated into that. It just never really changed. When people gravitate towards me, they always say how carefree and wild I am so I try to carry that over into my regular life and my 'celebrity' life."
And while others may feel the need to alter their personality once they've reached a certain level of success, Broderick definitely knows better. The 6'2'' Cali native has learned a thing or two about keeping his self-worth in tact. He knows that it's not just what you do in this world that matters, but who you are and who you become in the process. Being in the industry for almost 10 years, he's fully aware of how important it is to keep your character and integrity intact.
"I'm not a product of what I do and my success, I'm a product of the type of person I am. My parents have always taught me to just be a good person, you know? You could be flat broke but if you're a good person, you'll always have love and support. So I always lead with that foot first. Sometimes I feel, in this industry, people don't really know how to separate what they do from who they are."
"I'm not a product of what I do and my success, I'm a product of the type of person I am."
"We're in an era of microwave success now where a lot of great things are happening to people very quickly. You can upload a video tomorrow and then any of these major pop stars can come up on it and next thing you know, you're walking the red carpet at the VMAs. That's how quick things can happen."
Though he's definitely not mad at newcomers who have forged their way into the spotlight, he understands that the rules of the game have changed. He warns however, that while social media can aid in your success, it can also make you miss steps that help build and keep you grounded when you go through the trenches, which is something he knows firsthand. Broderick's journey was one that was met with rejection and resistance early on. In another interview with Bold TV, he makes mention of the fact that various industry insiders were very apprehensive in considering him for campaigns and shows. They cited his athletic build, his dark skin, and the fact that he was a black male as reasons why he wouldn't be a good fit.
Looking back, he sees that ultimately it all worked out for the better as he has been able to continuously amass a great level of success despite the naysayers. Nowadays, he likes to use his social media platforms as a tool to engage with his followers and fans, something that he says is done on purpose.
"I have to use social media now to bring my brand to where it is, but it's a tool for me. Social media is a tool not lifeline for me. I'm all for the way the industry is going now, it's a lot more entertaining. You're able to get an idea of who people are before you ever meet them," he said. "That's not to say that's EXACTLY who they are but you can gauge their personality from what they post and everything. I really feel like opening up and being personable with people has really helped my brand get to where it is. It allows people to know that I'm a real person, I'm a regular person."
And personable he is. The minute you find yourself on Broderick's Twitter page, you become instantly intrigued and invested in his interactions with women and you may find yourself getting gassed up by him on anything from your edges to your melanin to your makeup. That's because for him, championing and hyping up black women specifically is something he stans for. Early on before modeling and acting caught his eye, the black women in his life had it first. He credits everything he's learned to black women, from hair-care, skin-care, self-care, and the like.
He says that he realized the value they brought into his life at a young age and made it a point to uplift, revere, and adore black women openly and without shame. And in an industry that likes to celebrate features akin to ours and not us, he believes that it's not only important but very necessary.
"I've always campaigned for black women because I saw early on the value that they had, not only in my life but the value they brought to the world. As I started to grow up and through my basketball stages and everything, I value and appreciate all women, but black women were always important to me. I've seen how they've helped me grow and the things that they've taught me. Everything I know, I've learned from black women."
"Everything I know, I've learned from black women."
He continued, "In my career, I started to see how devalued the black woman was and how much they were not celebrated the way I celebrated them. So I made it a point to always campaign for what I believe in and I've always believed in the rights, the love, and the information that a black woman has to offer. I really push for that because I want people to have the same experience I had and see the things I see in black women and what they can do. So, when I got to the point in my career where I felt like I really had a voice that would echo, I made it a point to love and support black women. I love to gas my sisters."
And it's pretty safe to say that his sisters love him. Amidst crazy comments and DMs from those who try to do the absolute most vying for his attention, when it comes to dating he says all he's really looking for is someone who knows how to hold their own. A humble woman who is secure in herself and has things going for herself. Someone who's not looking to attach themselves to him for clout's sake, but someone who's interested in building together.
"Obviously looks attract but when it comes to dating I look for reciprocity. Beauty doesn't impress me anymore. I look for inner qualities like how she was raised, how she treats other people, and if she has fashion sense because I don't mind my girl dressing me. And if she can throw down in the kitchen that's a plus too."
All I have to say is, where do I sign up?
For more on Broderick, keep up with him on Instagram.
Featured image by Ron Adar / Shutterstock.com